Habituate Me!

Discussion in 'Support' started by Larry OT, Nov 22, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      any ideas on how to actually get habituated are appreciated.
      Is there a process that helps when T is screaming and sucking the energy and happiness you used to know?

      people talk of CBT and TRT but never discuss parts of the process other than live your life and make your life what you want it to be.

      Is there more to the inner dialogue that helps?
      What's your best notions that keep you moving past it and living the life you want.
      Is it just the action of reclaiming your lifes activities? I know that helps and I crawl back up...sometimes.
      I'm lost in the white noise!
       
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    2. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I am nowhere near coming to terms with this crap but I have found that it is super important to do things , keep busy , every moment that you forget T and remember who you were before T helps so much.
      Even if it is somewhat forced , keeping busy will give you moments of peace.
      And these moments count , a lot.
       
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    3. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      @RaZaH
      Keeping busy is harder to do being semi retired but your right.
      Whenever I am busy my mind drifts away from T.
      How do you do music?
      When I work on my material my T revolts after an hour, even at low volume.
      Grrrrr
       
    4. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah I think be as normal routine as you can. Like RaZaH says, even of it is somewhat forced.
       
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    5. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I make music with headphones on my head , not covering my ears .
      Never used headphones before.
      Or using small Avantone speakers.
      Admittedly my music has taken a big hit since this whole ordeal started.
       
    6. lindag

      lindag Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Good topic Larry, where can we go for step by step information?
       
    7. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Larry OT

      If you find an answer to your question can you please let me know!
       
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    8. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      Come on all you habituators!
      I've read the success stories, which is great and many on TT point to TRT or CBT as the way to go, but somebody has had to have an experience in this they can detail a little for us.
      Shouldn't there be some kind of outline we can all look to put together by TT peeps for direction and common knowledge for making headway with tinnitus and habituation.
      There's so much info all over the place here and the gems are sometimes lost in the chatter.

      While I have gotten the most help from is the kindness and support of so many here, it would be great to pool our resources and share the healing process from our experiences as we all want to move in the same direction.

      Maybe it's too obtuse for agreement but if the goal is habituation, can we pave the road a little with specific examples.

      I'm not ready to take some drug that may blind me or worse!

      Maybe it's just time, toughness and our brains adaption but I would love some keys to the highway.
       
    9. James7

      James7 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Here some encouraging thoughts I often think to myself.

      First we know there are people with very loud tinnitus who have habituated so we know it's possible.

      Second, I think all of us forget about our tinnitus at times during the day. If you can do an activity for an hour and not think about your tinnitus you've basically habituated for that hour so know you can also do it for longer.

      Third, I remember that one woman who said "it's just a sound", who cares if I hear a sound? I just make myself not care.
       
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    10. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Me too... I just have this overwhelmingly feeling and belief that I'll never be where I once was music wise.
       
    11. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Yeah..me too, sucks.
       
    12. Bart
      Balanced

      Bart Member

      Location:
      Antwerp
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/06/2014
      I think habituation comes naturally in most cases but it takes time, for some more time than others but eventually the brain will adjust, don't fight the T because it is a battle you will lose.

      I still get bad days but generally it is much better than when the T first hit me, try and stay positive about it, you will get there at the end of the road.
       
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    13. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      I've not done any cbt training or anything. And i still have a long way to go. But this has been my journey so far and the techniques i've learned myself.
      After feeling sorry for myself for two weeks i said f it. These are some of the things i've done.
      1. Accepted tinnitus isn't going anywhere.
      2. Joined a social fitness group to stay busy.
      3. If it starts annoying me too much, go outside and wash my bikes or do some gardening. If it's raining sort out the loft or clean my aquarium etc.
      4. Stop talking about tinnitus.
      5. Carry on doing the things i love. But do it quieter. No headphones. No really loud music.
      6. Stop looking for a cure. Their isn't one.
      7. Stay positive. Tinnitus wont kill me.
      8. Pillow speaker for sleep with a fan on.
      9. Avoid silent situations.
      10. There may not be a cure but calmly look for things that help a little.
      11. Don't get angry with the t. That will only make things worse.
      12. Don't let it stop you doing anything. If that thing is noisy, wear earplugs.
      13. Remember many things and illnesses can harm us, tinnitus wont.
      14. Stay positive. If the tinnitus is beating us, then draw a positive out of it. Look for a hobby that helps. or join a club. If it's driving you mad that day. Grab your partner or friend and go to the cinema. Just take your earplugs
       
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    14. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      @BobDigi
      Thanks Bob. That's great advise. I still struggle with using making.
      I'm hating wearing earbuds for white noise and crickets so I'm looking at streaming healing aids.
      Do you mask at times or just go with it?
      Sometimes my T cycles and when it starts up again I panic for my earbuds.
       
    15. Dr. Charlie

      Dr. Charlie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1997
      Habituation takes place naturally when your subconscious mind determines that any stimulus is not dangerous. That is, that the stimulus (such as the noise of tinnitus) poses no threat to our well being. When tinnitus begins, it is frightening for us. "What's going on with my ears?" "Am I going deaf?" "Am I having a stroke?" Do I have a brain tumor?" In this fight or flight mode, it becomes impossible for our brains to ignore the noise.

      The result is that the harder one attempts to consciously "habituate" the noise, the more difficult it becomes. If you learn to remove your fear, then your brain will automatically develop the habit of ignoring the noise. This is known as habituation.

      You may have read the following before, but it is one of my favorites and seems appropriate for this discussion.

      An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

      Bless you,

      Dr C
       
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    16. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      @Dr. Charlie
      Thanks for your help here. It is much appreciated.
      I know I have no brain tumor, not going deaf etc.
      And the story makes much sense to me.
      Nevertheless things are even after 14 months very difficult.
      High-pitched, loud T around 14-16 kHz, unmaskable. Sounds like a power plant.
      Waking up with this every morning already puts me on high alert.
      Working, functioning, eating, all difficult. Depression and anxiety joined the game.
      Thought I will habituate after 14 months, but not yet - makes me even more depressed.
      Any advise for those severe cases?
      Thanks in advance,
      Martin
       
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    17. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      I don't mask. I just go with it. The way i see it, and this is just my opinion. Masking and remembering to mask just acts as a constant reminder you have tinnitus. Habituation is having extensive time you forget your tinnitus. Atleast that's what i think. If i had to keep remembering to mask, judging if the volume is at a level where i need to mask, wondering if the masking is working and putting the damn thing on and off, i couldn't forget my t at all.
      I only get 2-3 hours at the most where i don't think about my tinnitus. But when i first got t i couldn't forget it for a minute. So i'm seeing progress.
      And trust me my T is very loud. To the point where i don't think i could mask it anyway. It's louder than anything i hear everyday.
      Remember, what works for me, might not work for you. But that's how i cope. Just carry on as normal.
       
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    18. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      Larry
      I agree with @Dr. Charlie (it ultimately takes place in subconscious mind); but I would contend there are conscience measures that can be useful too. I recall my first months with T (aka the PIT) and the steps I took to manage my T; keep in mind, I knew nothing of habituation at that time. First, I had to accept my situation (this was extremely hard for me to do); second, I determined to start doing things that T had robbed from me (getting out and playing ball, going to the gym, taking care of the house, etc.). The first allowed me to relax and think objectively; the second allowed me to prove to myself that T is not in total control.

      Granted, these were very difficult things to do; but the pay off was great.

      Mark
       
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    19. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      When my tinnitus gets bad I act out poorly. I've alienated parts of my family and feel embarrassed. The profound effect of this condition leaves me crippled at times and only those who have experienced its crushing effect know that it alters your thinking and abilities to cope at times.
      I have to reclaim the parts of my life that have dissipated and with it parts of relationships...perhaps more than parts.
      There is so much to lose and I've grown tired of losing.
       
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    20. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Gauge your reaction.. Not your T.
      I don't even hear mine anymore, til I come to this forum. hehe Really.
      I've had it bad for 40 years. I learned this technique here. Please don't "Wait" for habituation. Make it happen. When you hear your T, don't think how loud or intrusive it is, or what frequency it is, or if it's louder today. Don't think ANY of those things. Instead, think how your reaction to it is different or the same as the last time you heard it. And measure your reaction.
      This is magic. You'll notice a change in a few days or weeks.
       
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    21. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Larry I can completely relate to how you feel.
      I have two beautiful girls, 19 and 14, and it breaks my heart when I think that the first memory of me will be my ear struggles.
      Sure I never wanted it like this but it's just too overwhelming at times and I have no choice but breakdown in front of everyone.
      What other wife and mother would do such a thing to her family:(
       
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    22. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I never cried before T. Dont be so hard on yourself, it's a tough go. Sometimes you just break down. It happens.
       
    23. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      I was always the strong one, always looked after others, people say I'm confident and capable (hmmmm....if they only knew the truth:( .
      Even today, in all this agony, I'm more concerned about effects I have on my family than all the struggle I go through.
      I just don't want to be remembered as "her life was all about f....g ears and tinnitus":(
       
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    24. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      They still say this now with you having tinnitus? If they do you are doing a good job. I was strong and always composed under presure but now I'm a complete mess, it's all about getting through the suffering for me, I can't deal with things like I once did.
       
    25. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Hmmm...it's this other face I put on at work, it doesn't always work but I work in the hospital so I have to control myself as much as I can, can't afford to loose my job
       
    26. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      Thank you all. You make this life easier to deal with. Just knowing I am not alone and others can relate is a comfort I so desperately need.
      I am grateful.
      Peace to you all.
       
    27. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress

      I just cut and pasted part of my conversation with someone else about my CBT experience. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer to the best of my limited ability.

      "As to my CBT, I went to a CBT psychologist. He wasn't a tinnitus expert but he told me that working on my anxiety would help me with tinnitus and also with other limitations caused by my anxiety. He enrolled me in a six class workshop on dealing with anxiety. I learned about relaxation, deep breathing, mindfulness, EFT (tapping), imagery and exposure. We did exercises and examined our way of thinking--learning to challenge distorted thinking and behaviors. It all helped me tremendously but time also has a lot to do with where I'm at. I saw him for about 4 months and then he told me that I was stabilized and that I didn't need to come anymore but that he would be there if I needed him."

      My tinnitus was still the same but I was learning to not react. I would say that exposure--just going a short period of time listening to my T helped. The periods got longer and although I hear my T most of the time still, it causes no emotional reaction most of the time. I admit I still get annoyed sometimes but mostly it doesn't bother me.

      I did have to reclaim my life--I followed the advice of the veterans here and I just kept moving--no matter what my T is doing. I went to work, started going to family functions, etc.

      It's not perfect but it's so much better than when I first came here. I'm sitting in my living room on my laptop with my husband and we're just chilling...I used to hide with my computer tuned to white noise--I used to sleep with my comp on a pillow over my head to drown out the noise. Now I sleep with a fan or a/c in warm weather. I don't mask nearly as much as I did before. Like I said, I'm not a success story yet but I can see the progress I've made and I know I'll get to the other side. I'm enjoying my life again--and that is a blessing.
       
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    28. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      @Kathi

      Thank you for your help. You are an inspiration as well as so many here.
      I'm trying. I Have a shrink and a therapist and with anxiety exercises and anti depressants I am moving in the right direction.
      You are a blessing.
       
    29. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      Thanks music,

      My T gets so loud I don't know how to react. I try and accept it and keep moving but it builds intensity to where I reach for any meds that keeps my sanity.
      It's not an answer but hopefully the anti depressant meds will allow me to be strong enough to get stabilized so that I can learn to live with tinnitus.
      I hope so.
       
    30. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Kathi

      Wow, lucky you had the opportunity to do that class with all the different relaxation techniques. That's really impressive.
      Unfortunately here is AUS there's nothing like that but I know it would be good for me too.

      Kathi would you mind describing your daily routine in terms of relaxation?
      Also what did you find most beneficial out of all relaxation techniques you mentioned?

      Thanks!
       

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